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October 2001

October 8th

I woke this morning to find out that the inevitable had happened. The USA had started the bombing of Afghanistan. So now we have a no win situation with one side calling it a war against terrorism and the other side calling it a war against Islam. No doubt Australia will be dragged into it, do our bit for the great USA!!! Prime Minister John Howard has already pledged his support, Opposition Leader and former defence minister Kim Beazley is right there as well. GREAT... I'm sure this will help them both out in the up coming federal election, or could that be a degree of cynicism I am displaying there.
So what exactly IS a war on terrorism anyway. How do you fight a collection of people who hide out, not just in foreign countries, but your own as well?
I get the feeling the USA is back to flexing its military might again, but this is going to be a war that can not be won. There is a big difference between a conflict between a government or a country and terrorism, there are too many different interests to many groups and splinter groups and a whole collection of megalomaniacs out there.
Lets face it. The so called war on drugs has had little or no effect, why should we expect a war on terrorism to be any different! (Peace, Love and Mung beans)

October 1st

The world changed.
At around 9pm (we are 12 hours ahead of New York) on September 11, I was sitting in front of the computer trying to find a driver for a network card on the net.
Half a world away a tragic accident had occurred. A plane had crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. That news was starting to filter through to me via the #perth channel on Dalnet IRC (Internet Relay Chat), however I really wasn't paying much attention to it.
Finally, one of the channel operators, who was getting tired of repeating into the channel posted the address of the relevant page on the CNN Site, as the channel topic and it was only then that I decided to find out what was going on. Launching up a web browser I waited for the site to load... and waited... and waited. Eventually i decided to try the local ABC News site, and was greeted with a picture of the fireball created by the second plane flying into the other tower. It was at this stage I got off the computer and watched the CNN coverage live, this was about 20 minutes after the second plane crashed. It was at this time that news was coming in that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon.

I stayed up till one in the morning watching TV, even though I had to get up for work at 4. I was drawn by the drama that was unfolding before my eyes. The second tower collapsed and the CNN reporter was unsure what had happened as their view was obscured by the first tower, but I said to Amanda that it must of happened, because it looked just like the dust thrown up by a building implosion. Not long after, the north tower fell.
The next day was very emotional, and I found it difficult to hold back the tears at times, especially as I was getting constantly reminded of the event everywhere I went. It was all anyone was talking about and all the TV stations were showing nothing but news. My radio station I listen to comes out of Sydney and Melbourne and is normally relayed time delayed so that when the station makes time calls, it is the same everywhere. September 12 they were running live across the nation so every time they said the time, they had to say its this on the east coast, this time in South Australia and Northern Territory, and another time in Western Australia. Every time they did this multiple time call, i couldn't help but think of those poor people who were killed in this brazen act of terrorism.
I guess we all learn to cope with things like this, and it is far easier for people like myself, who don't know anyone who was caught up in the disaster. A friend of mine whom I chat to lives in Maine and she had a friend who worked in the World Trade Center, however he phoned her up a few days later to let her know he was safe, and that was probably the closest I got to being personally involved.

We have heard a lot of banter in the media about the hero's of the moment. From the fire fighters and the cops who went rushing into the buildings before they collapsed to try and save the lives of people trapped, we hear stories of the New York locals who have rallied together to help their fellow citizens in a time of crisis, and of course there were the passengers on the flight that crashed in a field in Pittsburgh who, on hearing on their cellular phones of planes crashing into buildings, decided to take on the Hijackers, knowing full well that they would die anyway. It's that which has me thinking! Could you consider the terrorists as hero's?
I would have to say yes. Misguided, but hero's non the less. They had a cause they believed in and they were willing to lay down their lives for this cause. Now there is no way i am advocating this, but there is always two sides to a story, and at the moment most of the information coming out is from the American propaganda machine. It is the people who fund terrorism, who plan its nefarious acts, that could be considered the cowards. They put in the money and then hide behind governments who are willing to protect them and I guess it takes disasters like what happened in New York and Washington for countries like the USA to target them, it's a shame incidents like Lochabie were not enough to bring the United States into action!

Flowers for the USA

Photo pick of the month
Flowers outside the US consulate, Perth Western Australia

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